Call it a car show with an accent. Call it a free car show. Call it fun.
If you’re a fan of exotic European cars, the Euro Fest Classic European Auto and Motorcycle Show at Towne Center Saturday, April 13, is the place to be. Mike Marsh, event organizer and director, said the show is a traveling event that he started because he wanted a venue to showcase his own cars.
“I’m a classic Mercedes guy. I have three vintage Mercedes, and there are very few all-European shows around the country. Most of them are all different kinds of cars. The guys who have European cars haven’t had too many places to show them where it’s all European. I started this concept about four years ago up in Ridgeland, Miss., a suburb of Jackson and it was very, very successful. We draw over 15,000 people a day in Jackson,” Marsh said in a phone interview April 5.
“Once I saw the Towne Center, I said ‘This is the right venue. This is where we need to do this,’ and so we talked to the Towne Center people. They were a little apprehensive at first, but slowly they came around. This is our first show (at Towne Center). If the weather cooperates, I think it will be very successful, and we’ll just build from here.”
“We’re going to be parking them primarily in the northwest section of the center, right across from Hibernia Bank,” Marsh said.
He expects about 75 entries, including cars and motorcycles.
“They’re all European. We have two classes: cars that are 25 years old and older and then newer cars, those special interest, particularly exotic type cars – Lamborghini, McLarens, Ferraris, Aston Martins, etc.,” he said. “We’ll have some pretty expensive cars there.”
The event is free.
“It’s free to the public and it’s free to exhibitors, which is fairly rare in the automobile show business,” Marsh said.
There will be awards in the different classes, he said, which will include recognition of “Best Marque of Classes,” “Sponsor’s Choice,” “Best of Show Vintage” and “Best of Show Newer.” Winners get a non-cash prize. “We will give out a total of 20 different class prizes, silver-plated champagne chillers,” Marsh said.
Most of the cars are in pristine condition, Marsh said.
“There might be one or two that are unrestored but they were allowed to enter because of their uniqueness. Probably 75 percent of the cars will be driven to the show. The rest of them will be trailered.”
It will be a short drive for the majority of the cars, he added. “Most of them are from south Louisiana. We’ve got a few cars from Alabama, Mississippi and the panhandle of Florida.”
Attendees can also get an eyeful of one of Firestone/Bridgestone’s race cars and get a turn in a race simulator, Marsh said. For car aficiandos — “motor heads” — the thing to do is see the cars and snap a photo or two. They’ll want to get an early start.
“We’re saying (it runs) from about 10 to 6, but if you want to take pictures, it’s always best to get there a little early before the crowds do.”